Plague In TV’s “The Tudors”

The coronavirus phenomenon has prompted me to re-visit the seventh episode of The Tudors, Season 1 (2007), for it concerns the mysterious plague (far worse than COVID-19) of 16th century Europe and the prevalent anguish it caused.  As it drives King Henry the Eighth (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) into what he hopes is safe isolation, scores of people die from the disease, Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer) nearly one of them.

Despite its ill-fitting melodrama, it is good commercial drama, somewhat relevant to 2020.  Excellently acted and savvily directed by Alison Maclean, the episode is often potent.  Coming down with the plague, Anne Boleyn quickly departs from a carriage and tramps along the road in disturbing despair.  Despair is never mentioned, but we know it’s there.  This dark moment is later followed by a lovely moment which ends the hour-long episode.  May there be upcoming lovely moments apropos of coronavirus.

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